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Wikimedia Foundation

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Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Type501(c)(3), charitable organization
LocationSan Francisco, California, U.S.
Los Angeles, California, U.S. (registered agent)[1]
Key peopleMaría Sefidari (Chair of the board)[2]
Katherine Maher (Executive director)

The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit foundation. Their main headquarters is in San Francisco in the United States. The Wikimedia Foundation runs many projects using the wiki idea and the MediaWiki software. These projects include Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikibooks, Wikiversity, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, and Meta-Wiki.[3]

There are many other wikis related to the foundation, but these are mostly smaller projects. They include the Wikimedia Foundation wiki, the MediaWiki wiki, the Test Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Incubator, Bugzilla, and the Wikimania wiki.

The foundation's creation was officially announced by Wikipedia co-founder[4][5] Jimmy Wales, who was running Wikipedia within his company Bomis, on June 20, 2003.

The foundation gets most of its funds from donations, as it is nonprofit. It also looks for grants. Some companies have helped Wikimedia by giving free computer hardware, and by hosting servers. Since people can write the wikis, Wikimedia projects are free to use. Funds are used to run computer servers and to pay staff. The Foundation had 160 employees in 2013.

In 2013, Sue Gardner was the executive director.[6]

In 2015, Patricio Lorente was the Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board.[7]

In 2016, Katherine Maher became the executive director.

In 2018, María Sefidari is chair of the board.[8]

The different boards

Board of Trustees

Board members at Wikimania 2009 in Buenos Aires

The Board of Trustees in charge of all the affairs of the Foundation has ten members:

  • four who are appointed by the Board itself;
  • three who are selected by the community of all the different Wikimedia projects;
  • two who are selected by the local chapters and thematic organizations;
  • and one emeritus for the foundation's founder, Jimmy Wales.

The Signpost reported that two new trustees were elected in 2019:

  • Nataliia Tymkiv, user:antanana (English or Ukrainian)
  • Shani Evenstein, user:Esh77 i(English or Hebrew)[9]

Advisory Board

The Foundation also has an Advisory Board, an international network of experts who have agreed to give the foundation meaningful help on a regular basis in many different areas, including law, organizational development, technology, policy, and outreach.[10]


  1. "Contact us - Wikimedia Foundation". Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  2. Wikimedia Foundation. "Wikimedia Foundation announces Tanya Capuano as new Trustee, alongside leadership appointments at 14th annual Wikimania". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved July 21, 2018. 
  3. List of Wikimedia wikis on Meta
  4. Meyers, Peter (2001-09-20). Fact-Driven? Collegial? This Site Wants You. New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-31. "It's kind of surprising that you could just open up a site and let people work," said Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's co-founder and the chief executive of Bomis, a San Diego search engine company that donates the computer resources for the project.". 
  5. Bergstein, Brian (2007-03-25). "Sanger says he co-started Wikipedia". ABC News (Associated Press). Retrieved 2007-07-31. "The nascent Web encyclopedia Citizendium springs from Larry Sanger, a philosophy Ph.D. who counts himself as a co-founder of Wikipedia, the site he now hopes to usurp. The claim doesn't seem particularly controversial — Sanger has long been cited as a co-founder. Yet the other founder, Jimmy Wales, isn't happy about it.". 
  7. Cbrown1023. "Board of Trustees". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  8. Wikimedia Foundation. "Wikimedia Foundation announces Tanya Capuano as new Trustee, alongside leadership appointments at 14th annual Wikimania". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved July 21, 2018. 
  10. "Advisory Board". Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on 2018-01-31. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 

Other websites

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  • Governance wiki